In 2014, Google started favouring websites with HTTPS over those just with HTTP. So why have they brought in the change, and what can you do to ensure that you see the benefits of HTTPS?
During testing, Google said that whilst it’s only a lightweight signal, HTTPS can give you a slight advantage over HTTP websites, but it’s not as important as having good-quality content on your website in terms of SEO rankings. And because of this, they decided to use this as a ranking signal, and stated that this would help with their work to make websites accessed from Google more secure as part of their efforts to increase web safety in general.
How do you get HTTPS?
To enable HTTPS on your website, you will need an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, for SSL to work an SSL Certificate issued by a Certification Authority must be installed on the web server and then SSL then encrypts the data transmitted between the browser and web server. When SSL security is enabled and data is encrypted you’re stopping the data being intercepted by a third party, thus making your website, and the data stored within it, more secure. If your website stores people’s confidential information such as name, date of birth, passwords, payment details etc. then you should definitely have an SSL Certificate anyway, whether or not it increases your SEO ranking.
Once you’ve decided to use an SSL Certificate and HTTPS, you’ll need to buy an SSL Certificate and assign it to the domain name you want to use it for. Once you have done this, it could take a few hours for the secure directory to be created, and then you can upload any of the files you wish to be secure to this secure directory. Remember that you can choose between a single, multi-domain or wildcard certificate. If you’re using Webforward hosting packages, the server holds a multi-domain name SSL Certificate which can be used by anyone.
If you’re looking to improve the SEO of your website, check out our tips on how to use social media to improve your SEO and our top SEO mistakes to avoid. If you’re looking for help with SEO or ensuring that you’re using SSL to boost your SEO then get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org